Developing the Skills of Ministry

Course descriptions and scheduling are subject to change by administrative decision. See course offerings booklet for current offerings. Some courses will be offered on a two- or three-year rotation.\

Developing the Skills of Ministry#cpe

Congregational Life and Work (SMCL)

SMCL 512 Seminar in Youth Ministry (3 SH)

Using a framework of practical theological reflection, this course guides participants in articulating their theological vision for youth ministry in conversation with insights from cultural studies, sociology, psychology, neurology and human development. The complex sociocultural setting of formation will be explored, employing critical and constructive approaches to race, gender, sexuality, class and embodied and digital identities. The course addresses ministry contexts with early, middle and late adolescents in congregations and beyond. 

SMCL 521 Teaching for Christian Community (3 SH)

What role does pedagogical practice play in cultivating community? Utilizing an experiential learning model, this course combines theory, practice and reflection to explore the possibilities and challenges of teaching for Christian community. A basic foundation in educational theory will be established. Anabaptist theology and practices will guide the consideration of key issues such as learning, authority, mutuality and harm in community. John’s presentation of Jesus’ theology of friendship and pedagogical formation of community will serve as a biblical guide for reflection.

SMCL 564 Theological Reflection on Trauma (3 SH)

This asynchronous online course integrates theological reflection with an awareness of trauma and resilience.  The complexities of sufferings, evil, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation are explored in conversation with theological sources including the Hebrew Bible; New Testament; and black, womanist and mujerista theologies.  Recognizing the embodied and relational impact of trauma, this course imagines how the life-affirming resources of community, spirituality and practices can weave a net of care and empowerment.  This course must be taken in the same academic year as and after completing the synchronous session of, the first module of Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience at EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (PAX 540, 2 SH)s.

SMCL 602 Foundations for Christian Preaching (3 SH)

This course is a general introduction to preaching, emphasizing how to move from biblical text to God-centered proclamation of the gospel. While the course will explore a variety of approaches to the biblical text and consider historical, theological, pastoral, and creative aspects of preaching, we will focus primarily on one methodology that can be adapted to a variety of styles and forms.

SMCL 611 Pastoral Care (3 SH)

A critical reflection on what it means to be a caregiver in the ministry of the church. Among the issues examined are the assumptions one brings to caregiving, the relationship between caregiving and counseling, and various models for pastoral care and counseling. Specific pastoral care events such as births, weddings and funerals are also explored. Professional and ethical issues related to caregiving and counseling are introduced. There will be a brief introduction of basic counseling skills.

MOL 620: Transformative Leadership in Dynamic Contexts (3 SH) (Meets seminary leadership requirements)

This course explores the newest dimensions and challenges of leadership that strengthen and extend leadership skills through practice in rapidly changing and complex, diverse, multi- generational, multi-cultural and multi-dimensional systems, such as health care, government, education, non-governmental organizations and multi-national for-profit organizations. 

SMCL 640 Topics (1-3 SH) 

This course provides theoretical and practical preparation in one or more of the ever more diverse skills called for in contemporary ministry settings.

SMCL 642 Congregational Worship (3 SH)

This course both surveys the foundations of Christian worship – biblical, historical, and theological – and prepares students for designing and leading congregational worship experiences. A comparative study of contemporary ecumenical expression provides the student with critical tools to examine the liturgical practices of their own faith tradition. Students will become familiar with patterns of worship based on the Christian year and various lectionary cycles and will practice specific acts of liturgical leadership through the writing of prayers and other worship resources. Special emphasis will be placed on the practice of hospitality through intercultural awareness.

SMCL 698 Ministry Specialization Project

This project is intended to help students integrate their seminary education into their intended ministry setting. As a culmination of their seminary experience, students will develop a resource, with the assistance of a faculty advisor, which will equip them more fully to minister in contexts beyond the seminary.


Missions and Evangelism (SMME)

Mission in Cultural Context (3 SH)

See CM 621.

Intercultural Church Experience (3 SH)

See CM 613.

Mentored Ministry Internship (2-6 SH)

See SMFE 781.

Field Education (SMFE)

(see the requirements for Mentored Ministry)

Formation in Ministry I, II (Field Education) (3 SH), (3 SH)

See FS 601 and 602.

SMFE 601 Clinical Pastoral Education (6 SH)

Clinical Pastoral Education is professional education for ministry. The learning process includes group seminars and the practice of ministry in an institutional or congregational setting with the guidance of an ACPECertified Educator. From encounters with persons in need, and the feedback from peers and educators, students develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister. From reflection on specific human situations utilizing the resources of theology and the science of human functioning students expand their understanding of ministry. In addition to the practice of ministry program components include the writing of verbatims, lectures, reading, journaling, individual supervision and the interpersonal experience of a group of peers in a common learning experience.

SMFE 701 Advanced Clinical Pastoral Education (6 SH)

This course is a guided learning experience in ministry in an institutional and/or congregational setting under a certified ACPE supervisor. Program components include verbatim writing, lectures, individual supervision and the interpersonal experience of a group of peers in a common learning experience. This course is offered during the summer in the format of a ten-week intensive unit and during the school year as an extended unit spanning six months, with three hours of credit each semester.

SMFE 724 Supervisory CPE

SMFE 742 Teaching Mentorship (3 SH)

EMS students may apply for a Teaching Mentorship in the EMU Bible and Religion Department. This mentorship includes practice teaching at the undergraduate level under the direct supervision of a faculty member assigned to the course. The faculty member functions as a teaching mentor and provides oversight and evaluative feedback at regular intervals during the mentorship. Participation in this mentorship will follow Formation in Ministry I & II (or equivalent) and the completion of at least 18 hours of seminary coursework. The number of mentorships each semester will be limited to one. Application shall be made to the EMS Mentored Ministry office.

SMFE 781 Mentored Ministry Internship (2-6 SH)

An intensive experience in supervised ministry normally in an off-campus setting. Internships may range in length from three to 12 months. They may be arranged in settings such as pastoral ministry, urban ministries, church planting and overseas missions. Credit earned is generally elective credit. In some settings, the intern may take a limited amount of study at a local seminary. Internships operate according to guidelines established by the seminary. Ministry Internships in a specialized setting are approved by the Director of Mentored Ministry. Prerequisite: Minimum of one year of seminary study; FS 601 and 602.

Independent Studies

791 Independent Studies (1-3 SH)

Independent studies may be taken in any department subject to the approval of the instructor and the associate dean. More information here.

MAR 791 MAR Thesis (1-6 SH)

Research project done in the area of the student’s concentration and under the direction of the faculty supervisor.